Access and Opportunity

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt


One of the core purposes of an institution of higher education is to serve as gateway to opportunity. The University of Southern California, characterized by the breadth in its academic disciplines and its deep roots within the great, culturally diverse metropolis of Los Angeles, is uniquely positioned to serve as a bridge to new opportunities for students of myriad backgrounds. Creating a community of diverse viewpoints—economic, cultural, intellectual—builds a greater generation of innovators, leaders, visionaries, and creators to move society forward.

We are proud of the record of achievements in pursuing this vision. The university remains among the nation’s top private research universities for the percentage of its students who are from low-income households. Twenty-four percent of the total undergraduate population, or more than 4,300 students, were Pell grant-eligible during the 2014-15 academic year, a direct result of USC’s ongoing efforts to accept high-achieving transfer students, especially from community colleges. Among the 2015 entering freshman class, one in seven students are the first in their families to attend college, and the university provides more than $300 million in financial aid from all sources to help make the university accessible to all.

And USC is particularly proud of its longstanding support of our immediate neighborhoods. The highly successful college preparation program, Neighborhood Academic Initiative, has educated 871 students in South and East Los Angeles neighborhoods as they graduated from high school and headed off for college-level academic work.

But it is not in our DNA to be satisfied with what has already been accomplished. We know there is always more that can be achieved, more courageous and curious minds who would be welcome and valuable addition to the USC community of scholars, and we will work together to extend the opportunities even further.

USC News Coverage on Access and Opportunity

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